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Patient gets world’s first artificial trachea July 10, 2011

Posted by Dreamhealer in Links.

A patient will be discharged from a hospital in Sweden on Friday after his cancerous windpipe was removed and replaced by the world’s first artificial trachea, made of his own stem cells grown on a man-made plastic matrix.

“This is the first permanent artificial organ ever,” says Paolo Macchiarini, professor of regenerative surgery at the Karolinksa Institute in Stockholm, who led an international team of researchers.

Just as remarkable as the man-made windpipe, he says, is how quickly it was produced. Collaborators in Sweden, London and the U.S. created the trachea from scratch in just two days for a 36-year-old man whose cancer was so far advanced that only emergency surgery offered him any chance of survival.

Rejection is unlikely because the new trachea was made of a special plastic polymer and the patient’s own cells, Macchiarini says.

“Frankly speaking, I was very much scared,” said the patient, Andemariam Teklesenbet of Eritrea, who is a student at the University of Iceland in Reykjavik. “I was about to refuse the surgery, but Dr. Macchiarini explained everything to me. I prayed. I accepted it. I believed in it.”

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